August 12, 2005

Exile on Neocon Street

The Rolling Stones were in the news this week for two reasons: First, they announced a deal with the NFL to both perform at the league's annual "kickoff" concert and to appear in advertisements season-long for "Monday Night Football." Secondly came word that the Stones' new album contains a song called "Sweet Neo Con," which rips the Bush Administration and Republicans in general for various transgressions.

And then, you guessed it, the Fox News Outrage Machine decided to latch onto both stories.

Last night on "The O'Reilly Factor" (guest-hosted by John Gibson, who would certainly finish high up in any news version of RoadFromBristol), morning show host Brian Kilmeade appeared on the show to vent his OUTRAGE that the NFL would dare go into business with such a controversial, anti-American act, and Gibson seconded that how dare the NFL book performers who aren't even FROM America. Time Magazine's Christopher John Farley argued, extremely meekly, the liberal side, in true Fox style.

Yes, at this point we know that most movie stars and rock stars are considerably left of center, and the vast majority of them don't know what they're talking about. Indeed the Stones, judging by their lyrics, clearly have no idea what the word "neocon" even means.

But I don't see why this is something worth getting outraged about. Why can't people accept that there are people in this world whose political beliefs differ from their own, and live with it? And how snide is it of Kilmeade to believe that criticism of the president, all by itself, is "anti-American'? Did he feel the same way during the Clinton Administration?

The highlight of the segment, meanwhile, was when Kilmeade read some lyrics from "American Idiot" by Green Day, another performer on the kickoff concert. Farley failed to point out that not only does the album (which Kilmeade has almost certainly never heard) have almost nothing to do with Bush, but it was far and away the best album of 2004.

Posted by Stephen Silver at August 12, 2005 11:59 AM

I'd say that these lyrics--which can be heard every 15 minutes on some radio station out here--are pretty anti-Bush:

"Sieg Heil to the president gasman
Bombs away is your punishment
Pulverize the Eiffel towers
Who criticize your government"

Posted by: Jeremy Wahlman at August 12, 2005 07:03 PM

Yeah, Jeremy, that song is anti-Bush and I think Armstrong even has said so.

I am right of center and still think Green Day kicks ass, and I still haven't thrown out my Bruce Springsteen cd's (although I don't know if I can handle going to another preachy concert of his - wow what a great show other than that).

Agree with Steve that politics should be ignored i choosing a musical act if they take politics out of their act in NFL related venues. So long as the Stones stick to playing uncontroversial songs with lyrics like "what the matta wich you boy, them puerto rican girls are just dyin to meet ya" and "brown sugar" we'll be just fine.

Maybe next year the NFL can balance it out with Toby Keith (good god, is he the only singer who doesn't hate America).

Posted by: J. Lichty at August 18, 2005 02:32 PM
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